What vegetables for your dragon?


Teo didn't eat vegetables when she was young. That is not unusual, but if you teach your dragon to eat veggies as soon as possible they usually likes it. If you have babies - teach them as soon as they start to eat, then you won't have to teach them later. My babies ate veggies from the first day they started to eat. I had to hand feed them, but they ate!

Veggies As an adult Teo eats her veggies without problem. Some examples of what I offer; collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion (the yellow of the flower and leaves), turnip greens, carrot tops, kale, (not too much kale, it is not good for beardies) parsley (not too much here either), Nasturtium (the flowers), marigold petals, ruccula and watercress, peas, baby-corn, green beans, raspberries, blueberries,. You should avoid spinach, except as occasional treats, spinach contains oxalic acid, which binds more calcium that it offers, actually reducing the total calcium available. Also avoid iceberg lettuce and lettuce as it has little food value and isn't good for reptiles.

I will not go into detail about more vegetables here, if you are interested in learning more go to this very informative page:
Tosney's bearded dragon Care
Beautiful dragons also has a very good section about veggies - read it! :)

Maybe you have seen lettuce at some of my photos of Teo in her terrarium. It was simply there for decoration when she was young. She never ate it for some reason - if she would have, I would have removed it.

How to teach your beardie to eat veggies
Don't worry if your baby beardie isn't interested in veggies when very young. They usually don't start to eat that before they are 2-4 months old. If taught early they can start a lot sooner though. My babies ate veggies the same day as they started to eat crickets. Always have plate of fresh veggies in the cage.


Disa eats dandelion leaves. Photo Gunilla
Disa eats dandelion leaves

Many people have asked me what to do if their beardie don't want to eat vegetables. One thing is to offer vegetables in the morning before you go to work/school. Then it is nothing else there to eat for the beardie the whole day. If he is hungry - he eats. When you come home you can offer crickets. Young dragons shall be offered crickets 2-3 times a day though. Remember not too feed your beardie crickets too close to the time that the lights go off - he needs at least an hour to digest the food at his basking-spot. If it is an adult bearded dragon you can even stop giving him crickets for 4-5 days to "force" him to eat the veggies.

Offer variety
If you get a baby dragon you shall try to teach it from the start to eat many different kinds of veggies. Offer a big variety from the start or the dragon can grow up to be very picky. If your beardie only wants to eat one kind of veggies, try to remove that particular kind for a long time and offer only other kinds of veggies, that will probably force him to eat the other veggies sooner or later.

Like I said, Teo didn't eat vegetables in the beginning and I had to teach her. I took her in my lap and carefully placed a piece of vegetable in the corner of her mouth. After a while she chewed it and I placed another piece there. After a couple of days she realized that "I can eat this" and started to eat from the plate in the terrarium.






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